Hindus around the world are celebrating the festival of lights known as Deepavali and for the occasion, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran has written a letter to them calling upon everyone, including political leaders, to work to ensure that human life and religious freedom are protected, thus fostering full human development.
The message sent to Hindus was signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and the council's secretary, Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata.
The letter, published today, is entitled: "Christians and Hindus: Committed to Integral Human Development."
During Deepavali, which is being celebrated this year in October, Hindus light a lamp to thank their gods for their prosperity and the blessing of peace.
Drawing on this theme, Cardinal Tauran said in his message that “in the process of integral development, protection of human life and respect for the dignity and fundamental rights of the person, are a responsibility of everyone, both individually and collectively."
"Respect for others therefore implies the recognition of their freedom: freedom of conscience, thought and religion."
The two Catholic prelates also reminded the Hindu world that seeking integral human development requires “the political will to work towards ensuring greater protection of human rights and peaceful co-existence.
“Development, freedom and peace are inextricably linked together, and they complete one another,” they said.